Since Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook he's reportedly notched a half dozen patents. But yesterday, the Facebook CEO got word that the very first patent he ever filed an application for was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
U.S. Patent 8,225,376 was filed on July 25, 2006 and is titled "Dynamically Generating a Privacy Summary." According to the application, the patent is for a
"… a system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary is provided. The present invention provides a system and method for dynamically generating a privacy summary. A profile for a user is generated. One or more privacy setting selections are received from the user associated with the profile. The profile associated with the user is updated to incorporate the one or more privacy setting selections. A privacy summary is then generated for the profile based on the one or more privacy setting selections
Basically, it provided a way for Facebook to present a user's profile in accordance to the privacy settings the user selected, and show the user what it would look like to various other Facebook users. The original patent application was rejected by the USPTO, but Facebook decided to re-file in February of this year right before it filed its IPO.
Head over to Read Write Web to learn more about the patent and why, in the face of Facebook's stockpiling of patents, it's pretty much useless.